Dec 062015

 There’s an old saying that reminds us that life is what happens while we’re making other plans. Or, as I was taught in the Army, you can plan and discuss strategy for weeks before an operation, but everything goes to hell once boots are on the ground. That’s how yesterday was for me.

By the time I knocked off Friday night I had 22 out of the 36 pages of the new issue of the Gypsy Journal laid out. Based upon that, it shouldn’t be much problem to finish up the rest over the weekend so I could send it to our printer Sunday night or Monday morning. Yeah, right. How did that work out, Nick?

Friday evening I was working along when there was a momentary power blip, just enough to knock my computer out, and then it was back on again. Our Progressive Industries electrical management system (EMS) didn’t show any error codes, so I just chalked it up to one of those little gremlin incidents all RVers experience now and then. Fortunately, I had just saved what I was working on when it happened so I did not lose anything.

I always leave my computer on overnight, and when I got up yesterday morning it was off, an indicator that we had lost power again sometime during the night. And then yesterday while I was working it happened at least five or six more times. Unfortunately, at least three of those times when I rebooted my computer I had lost whatever I’d been working on. Since I save frequently while I’m working it wasn’t a terrible amount, but it still had to be redone and it was frustrating.

There are two 50 amp outlets on our power pedestal, which looks to be in good condition, so I unplugged the motorhome from the first one and switched over to the second. That didn’t solve the problem; it happened a couple more times. And each time I had to reboot my computer and each time I lost some work. Very frustrating. Between the repeated power blips and trying to figure out what was wrong, I was getting way behind schedule.

By then I needed a break so we ran over to Terry’s parents to pick up a couple of packages that had come in from Amazon and visited with them for a while. We’ve only been out to dinner twice since I was in the hospital in Temecula, and Terry really likes Mexican food. There’s a good restaurant here in Apache Junction called Los Gringos Locos that she likes, so when we left her parents we made a stop at Walmart to pick up some things and then went to dinner.

We had barely sat down when Terry looked up and saw our friend Phil Botnick. Phil is one of the best RV techs I’ve ever known, and if he can’t figure out a problem, nobody can. So I went to their table and gave him a brief description of what was happening. Phil suggested I turn off our inverter and see if that made any difference, and then call him today or Monday if the problem persisted. Back at home, the clock on our microwave was flashing, indicating the power had gone out again while we were out. I turned off the inverter, which we normally leave on in stand-by mode, and that seemed to solve the problem, at least for the rest of the evening.

Unfortunately, with all that happening I only got two more stories written and another page and a half of the paper laid out by the time I knocked off about 11 PM to write today’s blog. Hopefully today will be a better day and I can get some more accomplished. The good news is that our printer said they have some flexibility in their schedule so I’ve got an extra day or two if I need them to get things done.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Birdsongs, the first book in my friend Jason Deas’ excellent Benny James mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.


Speaking of books, another of my author friends, Tim Bryant, is offering his historical mystery Constellations free this weekend on Amazon. It’s a story that stretches from the Civil War to the Civil Rights era, with more twists and turns than a politicians campaign promises. Be sure to download your free copy.

Thought For The Day – I’m sure glad I don’t have to hunt for my food. I don’t even know where pizza lives.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “Well That Didn’t Work Out”

  1. Nick it might be worth your while to invest in a battery backup system for your computer. This is something you don’t need for laptops but is definitely worthwhile for your PC. It might be time to service your inverters if they are not performing as they should.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time..

  2. Second the motion for battery backups. We have so many brief power outages that I have ended up having to get UPS units for nearly all the electronics. Has saved a LOT of hassles with lost data.

  3. I’ve never heard of battery backups for your computer. Can you explain? What are UPS units??

  4. You can put a price on computer frustration relief, it’s about $100.00 at your local buy more electronics.
    APC Battery Back-Up (BE550G-CN)

  5. How nice to have a RV tech so close. We’ve been on a six week waiting list for service.

  6. UPS means “uninterrupted power supply”, which is battery backup when the power goes out. There are many models available online and in stores like Staples and probably Wal-Mart. A search on Amazon for “uninterrupted power supply” gives me 68,000 results. We normally use our inverter and battery bank as a UPS, but Nick’s inverter is the problem.

  7. I have a UPS but it does not work with our modified sine wave inverter. As I said, I have always left our inverter on, and the UPS/computer was plugged into an outlet on that system. I am rethinking that, and may leave the inverter off. However, having left it off overnight and with no further problems, I think the inverter is the problem and it’s time to look at a new unit. If I switch, it will be to a pure sine wave Magnum unit.

  8. Hey Nick – Hate it when I lose data too. I don’t know what software you are using for the Journal but most have an auto save feature you can set for whatever interval you want. I have set mine as low as once per minute when working on something particularly important.

    I don’t care if you post this or not, just wanted to share a thought.

    — Kevin

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